Kieran – studying Arts
When I finished school I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do next. I had a few options. I could take a gap year, get a job, or go to uni. I went through the ritual of applying for a course on Find a Course, not really knowing exactly what it was all about. After 13 years of school I knew I was in need of a break so I decided to do some travel and work for a while before jumping into a degree. Read more about how I got to Sydney Uni.
I can talk to you about:
- starting uni after taking some time off from study
- the benefits of joining clubs and societies at uni
- career opportunities with an Arts degree.
Q&A with Kieran
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
My parents. They have always encouraged and supported me in whatever I have decided to do.
Would you rather be able to slam dunk or breakdance?
What's the best thing about being involved in the clubs and societies at Sydney Uni?
Being able to get involved with projects that connect you with people and organisations beyond the University. I was the president of the Young Vinnies Society and we set up a weekly breakfast van service on a Saturday morning for homeless people in the inner city. It was great to be part of something that helps people.
How would your best friends describe you?
You'd have to check with them but I think they would say that I am loyal and trustworthy.
Any tips for getting through the HSC?
Maintain some perspective. The HSC is important and you have to work hard. But it's also important to enjoy your time and keep a balanced outlook. Also set achievable targets, and don't leave things to the last minute. You will enjoy your study and learn far more if you do.
Initially I planned to take a break only for a year but it actually turned out to be a little longer. I was working in a great job in the classical music world, mixing with really fascinating people and generally enjoying life. Yet I still had a desire to go to university.
For me the most important thing about my break away from study and in the workforce was that it gave me the opportunity to think more about what I wanted to do, what I was interested in and where I saw myself in the future. After talking to my friends and my parents I decided to apply for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney. It has been one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Starting uni after a few years' break presents just as many challenges as entering straight from high school. Sure, "life experience" is useful but you don't get extra credit points for that. Probably one of the two biggest challenges I faced was the fact that I was the first to attend university in my family, so I didn't really have a reference point. Secondly, it took time to get my brain back into gear: learn how to write an academic essay, sit exams and generally get used to the pattern of student life.
I still remember my very first lecture. It was in one of the biggest lecture theatres on campus and there were more than 300 other students. This was a bit mind blowing. But I got involved with a number of clubs and societies on campus and quickly got to meet people with similar interests and outlooks to me often they were studying totally different degrees. Had it not been for things such as the Young Vinnies Society, I would never have met people who are now some of my closest friends.
After completing my Bachelor of Arts in 2011 I am continuing my studies and taking a Master of Management in the Sydney Business School in 2012. The skills I have gained in the humanities will be invaluable as I pursue a career in business.
For me the great things about Sydney Uni are the options you are presented with each day and the truly diverse group of students that you come into contact with. I was nervous and apprehensive about coming to university the whole idea of being in an environment that you're not familiar with can be uncomfortable. But what I quickly discovered in the first few weeks is that everyone is in a similar situation.
I’ve got friends that come from a variety of different schools and backgrounds and who have approached university through slightly different paths. This is what makes Sydney Uni great.